Tag Archives: southeastern south dakota

Spring Weather wet and cloudy in Siouxland, Rural Sioux County

8 Jun

The weather this year in Siouxland has been at best, unpredictable. Snow in May, although that I understand is not unusual. Then it got extremely warm during the “normal” spring months, with temperatures in the 90’s, that is unusual, although not unheard of by some of an elderly generation.I took a drive up into Sioux County this past week, checking out a couple of items that I will write about later. It was a pleasant drive up, white puffy clouds with blue sky. But around Sioux Center, that changed, as the weather was unpredictable the further north I traveled. But it made for some nice images.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Memorial Day at Floyd Cemetery, Sioux City

28 May

I have lived in Sioux City now almost 12 years. And have attended a number of Memorial Day ceremonies at the Floyd Cemetery in town performed by local American Legion posts and the Marine League and the women counterparts to each of these. The Floyd Cemetery ceremony was not always well attended, but it was always very intimate, with the few people there to honor to those who fought for their country and those who died. Gravestones mark the burials of men who fought in the Civil War, and later. So it was sad to find out Monday morning that the Floyd Cemetery Memorial Day ceremony was not to be, but instead a ceremony would be held at Graceland Cemetery. A larger place, more room for more flags and people, but missing would be the feeling of those long ago warriors, ghosts, who could be standing or sitting in the shade of the older trees at the Floyd Cemetery, receiving their due in heartfelt tributes, and watching the proceedings knowing they had done well.

But in recent years, the American Legion Posts and other organizations have been suffering a decline in membership, something I will address in a later musing, having talked with various members of the local Posts over the last few years.

But this doesn’t mean to diminish the tribute given to those brave men and women who serve and did serve which took place at Graceland Cemetery. I am just thinking that maybe Floyd Cemetery’s Memorial Day service received its own Taps Monday.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s Ingemann Danish Church and Memorial Day, Moorhead

27 May

I recently learned that once a year, a church in the Loess Hills of Siouxland holds a Sunday service on the day prior to Memorial Day. The Bethesda Lutheran Church of Moorehead, Iowa, holds a Memorial Day service each year at the Ingemann Danish Lutheran Church. Pastor Carla Johnsen has been tending her flock for the past 12 years. Pastor Johnsen explained,” Every year we come out here (to the Ingemann Danish Lutheran Church) because this church is part of our roots. This was the original Danish church built here in the country.” She explained there was a divide over holy Danes and happy Danes and the church’s congregation split in two. “So we come back here every year to remember God’s faithfulness. That is part of our story, and generation after generation God has been faithful and continues to be to this day”, she said.

Pastor Johnsen said during her sermon that people should remember and celebrate their past, their history and remember those who came before. After service inside the church, the congregation comes outside, Taps is played, then a few American songs are song and the group then enjoys fellowship with one another by having coffee and cookies and other refreshments. The Ingemann Danish Church, built in 1884, was eventually listed on the National Historic Register of Places in 2012.

More photographs of the Memorial Day service and celebration can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Tulip Festival, Orange City

19 May

Another year, another Tulip Festival in Orange City. Even though the weather wreaked havoc on the plants, the Siouxland festival itself, as always, is a delight. A good crowd and the friendly natives meant for a nice weekend outing.

More photographs can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux CIty, Iowa

Siouxland’s Early Sunrise, Sioux City

15 May

To me there is nothing quite like the peace and quiet and beauty of an early morning sunrise in Siouxland as the sun lights up the sky and colors the clouds that are there. Once past the inertia of actually getting up and throwing some clothes on and making some coffee, to witness the start of the day is breathtaking. But the early morning colors are so fleeting, I almost feel sad sometimes that I am not quick enough or have a plan ahead of time of where to be to photograph something in the foreground of early morning light. This weekend will be the celebration of Morningside Days, the 61st version actually. And later this month will be Memorial Day celebrations here in Siouxland and across the nation remembering those who serve and those who sacrificed.

Have a nice morning.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Spring blooms in Siouxland, Sioux City

11 May

It seems I have tried to get bulb plants to bloom in the spring time for many years without success. This past fall I planted a lot of bulbs. Replanted them again after the squirrels decided it wasn’t their stash I had “disturbed”.  And this spring I am successful. So I photographed a number of these blooms. I am not really sure what the various flowering plants are, nor I guess do I really care, it’s just nice to see them  embracing the change of the seasons. I recently completed teaching some basic adult photography courses at the local community college, sharing ideas with those students how to make better photographs and how to use an external speedlite to photograph subjects. Some of the blooms were photographed using an external speedlite off camera. Enjoy, and let’s hope that summer does not come too quickly this year.

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Spring still eludes Siouxland, Sioux City

4 May

It seems the spring season is still eluding the Siouxland area. Last week there were a couple days Sioux City and the surrounding areas hit the 80’s. It’s like we’re zipping past spring and right into summer. A little warm for my taste this early, but the sun felt nice and my plants enjoyed a burst of growth. Then the cold weather comes back, rain, sleet, some snow flakes and it makes one wonder will spring arrive or bypass Siouxland this year.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s Spring Brings More Snow, Sioux City

25 Apr

The last of the recent Siouxland snow is just about gone, except maybe the deeply shaded areas. It was surprising to see snow again, even small amounts, fall from the skies this past week. It is after all, April, and late April at that. Now forecasters say temperatures may hit the high 70’s, even possibly 80 degrees this weekend. I am ready for spring, not summer though. Although the warmer temperatures will feel nice. And I am sure my feathered guests will enjoy this change in weather, because the last couple of days wasn’t so kind to them either.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A Siouxland Historic home, Peirce Mansion, Sioux City

23 Apr

Recently the Peirce Mansion Assoc. Board hosted an open house of the historic home, Peirce Manson. History says the house was originally built in the 1890’s by John Peirce, it was a residence until the late 1950’s and then was utilized for other functions, the most recent as the museum for the city of Sioux City, Iowa, until a new museum was built downtown.

The association is restoring the former residence as time and money permits, giving area residents and visitors a glimpse back into time of another era, and making the facility available for rental if someone wants to host a party.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s League of Women Voters, Sioux City

19 Apr

The Sioux City League of Women Voters is a group of people dedicated to getting people involved in the political process of their community, and to keeping the area residents informed about what is occurring, especially what is happening in Iowa’s state legislature. The group hosted a town forum toward the end of March where three local State Legislators attended to give people an overview of what was happening in the Legislature and to get feedback and answer residents’s questions. The three attending legislators included House Representative Dave Dawson, Representative Chris Hall, and Representative Chuck Soderberg.There were some contentious moments as those attending hammered Rep. Soderberg with questions, but it mostly was a respectful event with questions asked and answers given, or the promise of finding the answer and getting back to that person. Rep. Soderberg had another engagement and I was not able to speak with him after the event, but did chat briefly with Reps. Dawson and Hall.

Those individuals I spoke with attending the town hall meeting had high praise both for the forum and chance to talk and listen to their legislators and for the legislators themselves. Even with disagreements about some policy issues and view points, these individuals believe the local Iowa state house representatives are bright and responsive to their constituents. The history of the League of Women Voters begins with an Iowan as stated on the organization’s website: “Carrie Chapman Catt, long-standing leader of the women’s suffrage movement and 1880 graduate of the present Iowa State University, brought the League of Women Voters to life in 1919. Her purpose was to harness the political energy of millions of women who were working diligently for the right to vote. Mrs. Catt envisioned an organization dedicated to informed citizen participation in government and to advocacy for progressive legislation on carefully studied issues.” The organization states its mission as a….” nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.” The local organization’s co-president Pat Hammerstom said there would be future town hall meetings to help keep local residents informed about what is going on with their state government in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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